Location: Rodriguez, Rizal
Hours to reach the summit: 2 to 3 hours
Visited on: January 2016
Disclaimer: Mt. Binacayan is one of the many rocky mountains in Rizal. The rocks are sharp and pointed from edges to the center, some of which are so big I needed some boost and lift to climb. But my friends and I prefer rocky mountains; they are less likely to make the hiker tired because calculating the next step dominates the mind instead of thinking how long it will take to reach the next station/stop.
I am never a great hiker — my legs are so short and my pace is not fast. However, I climb mountains with great motivations to reach the summit, and I barely complain. I am never a great hiker but I can be a great companion for you (and I am really a good walker, I must say). I may not speak too much during the hike, but I’ll be a proof that our inabilities must not and cannot be a hindrance to reach our goals.
To commence our 2016 adventure, my close friends and I visited Rodriguez (formerly Montalban) to hike two mountains in one day. Although the goal was to do a twin hike, our not-so-strong bodies opted to just finish one.
Rodriguez, Rizal is a home to a number of mountains with rocky paths – these rocks are actually boulders. We started our hike at around 8:30 in the morning after registering at the registration area. Since we were planning for a twin hike, we asked our guides which one should we hike first – Mt. Binacayan or Mt. Pamintinan; he recommended the former because he said the latter is much easier.
We were already trying to catch our breath even if we were still too far away from the start of the trail because from the registration area, you’d have to hike up the steep paved roads by the residential area. we were joking that we’re already done with the hike. Five in our group of seven had already hiked about three mountains prior to our Mt. Binacayan trek, but the other two were first timers.
The initial hike was very much challenging but tiring, however, the trail was much more adventurous and tiring. We were climbing on rocks, holding on their sharp points in order to ascend. The battle was in the strength of our hands and the flexibility of the legs because one really needed to stretch sometimes to reach the next rock.
The rocks were beautiful – white and clean against the sun. Our worry back then was that what if we fall down; surely, we’ll be injured because everywhere we look, only intimidating rocks would probably catch us.
Even about a fourth up the mountain, the green landscape of neighboring mountains welcomed us. It was a truly beautiful sight even if the sun was almost scorching hot. We were lucky because our tour guide also knew much about photography – he made us pose at certain styles at certain spots.
When we reached the summit, we had to wait for our turn because a lot of hikers came that day. We were patiently bathing our skins under the sunlit skies and took our turns in proving we conquered such greatly dangerous rocky heights.
Wawa Dam Sidetrip
We descended from Mt. Binacayan and had our lunch at one of the carinderias near the barangay hall, but after eating, most of us were already sleepy and some were already complaining of body pains. That made us decide to skip the next mountain and swim at the Wawa River instead.
From the Wawa River, Mt. Binacayan and Mt. Pamintinan was visible. Our guide told us that there was a cave by Mt. Pamintinan but it was closed back then as they were constructing a bridge for an easier way into it. Early in June, however, our guide texted me to inform us that the cave is already open.
- Wear gloves. The rocks are extremely sharp, and the trail to the summit is almost equal to rock climbing.
- If you are to wear leggings, make sure you’ll also wear shorts, again, because of the sharp rocks.
View the itinerary here.
- Emmeline Barte
- Marielle Cabuling
- Jason Mercene